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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  January 24, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EST

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money toward health insurance. he did make the claim and got 14 million bucks. good for him. we asked you what you're doing up at this hour. hour. our producer john has a couple of answers. >> bob in georgia writes, on the promo for the show i thought they said willie nelson was on. i'm going back to bed. >> what a letdown, you thought you were going to see willie nelson? how about one more. >> johnny writes been up all night enjoying some kraft beer, building legos, robots and feeding my tarantulas. >> this is our audience, john tower. i think that's a new demo, people getting trashed on boutique beers, building legos as adults and feeding their pet tarantulas. how much longer until the state of the union. >> now under 15 hours. you'll see that clock all day. 15 hours until the state of the union. "morning joe" starts write now.
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mr. speaker, you are on this stage at a prior debate, you said you were paid $300,000 by freddie mac. for an historian. they don't pay $25,000 a month for six years, as historians. >> did bain do any work, with any work with the government like medicare or medicaid. >> we didn't do any work with government. i didn't have an office on k street, i was never a lobbyist. i never worked in washington. we have congressmen who say they you lobbied them, we have congressmen who say that you lobbied them with regards to medicare part d. at the same time your center was taking in contributions -- >> you just jumped a long way over here, friend. i understand this technique, you used on cain and huckabee, you used consistly. it's unfortunate and it's not going to work very well because the american people see through it. >> tampa, i think romney did
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well, but we'll see. on the day of the state of the union, tuesday, january 24th, welcome to "morning joe," we're going to talk about the big debate last night. with us on set, we have national affairs editor for "new york magazine" john heilemann and new york economic analyst. john ratner. hi, willie. >> i enjoyed the debate last night. >> romney won? >> i think he had a good night. >> close call? >> he was aggressive. >> heilemann? >> he did all right. >> oh. >> it was kind of a draw. they both looked sleepy to me. >> sleepy? >> they were both tired. and the lack of audience. such a contrast between south carolina and florida, where the audience was so involved in those two south carolina debates. last night it was as if they had muzzles on. >> gingrich took it down a
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notch. he was slightly more statesman-like self. less the attack dog and romney came out of the box and he did blah he had to do. >> let's show folks what happened. new polling points in a dramatic shift as the republican race for president as the two leading candidates sharpened their lines of attack. according to the latest gallup poll, mitt romney and newt gingrich are in a statistical tie at the top. in a few days romney dropped eight points while gingrich gained 14. ron paul comes in a distant third, followed by rick santorum. with his lead evaporating, the former massachusetts governor got increasingly aggressive at last night's nbc news debate in tampa. romney questioned gingrich's record in washington. leading the former speaker to respond. >> the speaker was given an opportunity to be the leader of our party in 1994. and at the end of four years he had to resign in disgrace. in the 15 years after he left the speakership, the speaker has
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been working as an influence-peddler in washington. and during those 15 years i helped turn around the olympics, helped begin a very successful turn-around in the state of massachusetts. the speaker, when i was fighting against cap and trade, the speaker was sitting down with nancy pelosi on a sofa, encouraging it. when i said the paul ryan plan was bold and right, he was saying it was right wing social engineering. so we have different perspectives on leadership and the kind of leadership that our conservative movement needs, not just to get elected, but to get the country right. >> mr. speaker? >> i'm not going to spend the evening trying to chase governor romney's misinformation. he just went on and on and on, making all sorts of allegations. first of all, he may have been a good financier, he's a terrible historian. apparently your consultants aren't good historians. you ought to stop and look at the facts. >> it did not stop there. romney focused his attacks on gingrich's work with freddie
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mac. gingrich tried to head off the critique by releasing his 2006 contract with the mortgage lender, but that did not stop the two candidates interest tangling over the issue. >> on this stage at a prior debate. you said you were paid $300,000 by freddie mac for an historian, as an historian. they don't pay people $25,000 a month for six years as historians. that adds up to about $1.6 million. they weren't hiring you as an historian. and this contract proves you were not an historian, you were a consultant. it said you didn't provide historical experience, you were a consultant and you were hired by the chief lobbiest at freddie mac. you were making over $1 million, at the same time people in florida were being hurt by millions of dollars. >> as a businessman, you know that the gross revenue of bain wasn't your personal income. we had the company, the company had three offices, my share annually was about $35,000 a year. and the fact is, i offered
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strategic advice, largely based on my knowledge of history including the history of washington. what's the gross revenue of bain in the years you were associated with it? what's the gross revenue? >> very substantial. but i think it's irrelevant compared to fact that you were working for freddie mac. >> did bain ever do any work with any company, any work with the government like medicare or medicaid. >> i didn't have an office in k street. i wasn't a lobbyist, i never worked in washington. >> wow. >> and joe, some highlights from the gingrich contract with freddie mac include this. a $25,000 monthly retainer fee. in 2006 for a total of $300,000. the contract describes the work as quote -- consulting and related services. ratn ratner, do you know what that's like? >> the contracts were with the chief lob bists at freddie mac. >> john heilemann, it's not against the law to pay 15% taxes
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if it's on capital gains and it's not against the law to be a lobbyist. >> just say it. >> or to be a quote influence peddler. however you want to put it. it seems to me that newt gingrich is fighting a losing battle by claiming he wasn't paid millions of dollars to influence-peddle, lobby, to get colleagues to vote the way of the people that were paying him. >> i think one of the key questions here, romney last night accused gingrich. said there have been congressmen who have come forward and said gingrich did lobby them. there is a world in which you can provide strategic advice in washington without actually going to capitol hill, knocking on doors and trying to get people to vote certain ways on amendments. if gingrich is correct that he did not actually lobby, which is to say, go to congressmen and ask for particular votes on particular issues, if he did not do that -- >> it's obvious that newt is playing, i mean he is --
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>> playing a game with words. >> the meaning of what it is. because they had a one-year lobbying ban. so when guys would leave congress, they would come to me and they would say, i can't lobby. by the way, chene's coming over to talk about one of my clients. you know when that person walks through the door, they are carrying the water for your old friend. >> i think it's hard for him because he started out so far out on this. it's hard for him to get back to the right place. he started out i was paid as an historian. it's hard to walk it all the way back. he's trying to get there in phases, i think. >> romney had a new point. he claimed that gingrich was in the office of congressmen on behalf of medicare part d when he was getting the health care consulting fees, well after he had left the congress. >> i'm not sure as gingrich pointed out, i'm not sure that's a winner for romney in florida, where gingrich said i'll proudly tell people in florida that i lobbied on behalf of their
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medicare part d. >> willie, what is so disappointing for conservatives, real small-government conservatives is the fact that you have these two guys at the center of the campaign. as we've said before, neither of them are true conservatives, they are in their way, both opportunists. but you've got romney care, on the one side and on the other side, you've got a guy paid a lot of money to support the biggest socialist program that's been passed in the past 20 years. which is a $7 trillion medicare drug benefit plan. as far as again, i want to be clear, if you look at the lifetime expense of any program that's passed over the past 15 years, this program that gingrich pushed, is just pure socialism. and yet, this is year that republicans were supposed to fight obama care. and this is what it's done to. >> well he calls himself a small
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government reagan conservative. but if you supported medicare part d, you are by definition not a small government conservative. >> $7 trillion. >> $7 trillion. >> not a cent paid for. >> it's an unfunded mandate. >> but it's big government. >> the federal government has taken over pharmaceuticals. now you can call that what you want to call that in manhatt. where i come from, willie, that's a centralized state overstepping its bounds. especially if it's not paid for. and just to be fair, rick santorum also supported this. so you have three republicans, each one saying i'm more conservative than the other, supporting a $7 trillion medicare drug benefit plan at the same time medicare is going to bankrupt. >> just out of curiosity, who was against it? what principled conservatives were there that could be running for president now that opposed the medicare part d benefit?
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>> paul ryan, joe scarborough, of course. you could have listened to you surely could have listened to me. you could have listened to people like rush limbaugh. paul ryan had stuff out there. >> i'm just saying there aren't that many. >> but, but -- >> who could have stood on this issue and said, i fought this. >> we forget, though, in real-time, this was a huge, huge problem, because nick smith, then a congressman from i hadmy said they kept the vote open, they kept the vote open for a couple of hours. they were bribing him with money. for his son's campaign. it's not like this slipped past in the middle of the night. we conservatives were very angry about this. and again, i digress a little bit. but only because there aren't really a lot of good choices up there. >> i would go back -- >> for conservatives. >> to the issue of lobbying, which newt gingrich was confronted with last night.
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"the new york times" has a pretty searing editorial that characterizes what he did. not that we need to pile on with newt gingrich. but the hypocrisy of his playing with words, about whether or not he was a lobbyist and then being against the super pacs, in which you have to play with words in order to make them work, it's ridiculous, there's so many layers of stupidity in this race and so many layers of lying or veiled hypocrisy, it's very frustrating to watch without cutting through it and saying it is what it is. he lobbied, mitt romney is really rich and they all use the super pacs. okay? are we done? >> steve, are we? >> i think that's an accurate summary. >> can we stop pretending? >> what's interesting about the debate last night is i was one of these guys that just didn't think m.a.s.h. was as good without a laugh track. i don't think newt is as good without the audience. he needs the south carolina people screaming. >> the point that you've been
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making for a while, i thought romney was as i said before, i thought they were both exhausted. i thought that romney, in the past debates has been good at dropping opposition research into his attacks on opponents, i thought it felt a little like an opo-dump on newt. fine, he went on the attack. in the end something you said for a couple of days i think is the problem for romney, he still needs to offer a positive vision, that conservative voters will like. not just attacking gingrich. which he has to do. but he also has to give conservatives a reason to vote for him. because the south carolina result, as again as you pointed out, joe, was as much a rejection of romney as anything else. how does he turn that around? how does he come up with a message that conservatives will -- >> john, when you write your book, i mean you look back over all of the notes. i think you and everybody else, me, everybody is going to realize that this entire campaign has been nothing but -- a judgment on mitt romney.
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mitt romney's the front-runner. what about sarah palin? okay, she's not going to do it. what about herman cain? he's not qualified to be a dog catcher. but you know, he's not mitt romney. we're going to move him. then rick perry, and all of these other people. we're at newt gingrich right now. listen, i don't want to upset anybody at home. newt's not going to win this thing. he's just not -- i know mark halperin, who, i know he's going to be disappointed. but newt, i don't think in the end newt's going to win. but it's a terrible rejection, once again, of mitt romney. and if mitt doesn't give his case, instead of just tearing down newt, boy, he's going to be weak when he goes up against obama. >> we have one more before we get to other news. an ad being run by the romney campaign in florida right now. it hits newt gingrich for his consulting work. or lobbying for freddie mac. >> while florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, newt gingrich cashed in. gingrich was paid over $1.6
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million by the scandal-ridden agency that helped create the crisis. >> i offered my advice as an historian. >> historian? really, sanctioned for ethics violations, gingrich resigned from congress this disgrace and cashed in as a d.c. insider. if newt wins, this guy would be very happy. >> i'm mitt romney and i approved this message. >> steve ratner in florida considering all the pain this housing crisis has caused, this is a devastating ad, isn't it? >> it's a devastating ad. and you saw last night in the debate that romney kept hammering gingrich over and over again, not just on the $1.6 million, but on the impact that freddie mac and all the excess heading had on the housing crisis in florida. >> you see the statewide ads, they're hunl, have you lost something? are you okay? >> i got a mess over here. i don't know what happened. willie is sitting over here, i
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don't know what's going on. >> you've reported in florida, you can't go anywhere without somebody, all of my friends in pensacola, either they sell houses or they build houses or -- they are somehow in the food chain affected by it. everybody in my state is devastated by this housing crisis and that points a finger at newt. >> it's very tough. both these candidates have problems on the economic front. we're going to now see what happens, not because there's anything inappropriate in romney's taxes, they're now out. we're now going to have a couple of days about how rich romney is and how little he pays. in a state where unemployment is over 10%. we're now into states where the economics are bad. in florida, we're going to go to nevada soon, 13, 14% unemployment out there neither one of these candidates are, these two front-runners, gingrich and romney is well-s t well-suited right now to being the champion of the hard-pressed average republican voter. blue collar middle class republican voter in most of
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these states. and they're going to be trying to exploit those weaknesses in others. >> willie, does that matter? i think you're about the most independent thing we have around here. does it matter to you that mitt romney made millions and millions of dollars and paid 15% taxes? >> no, because i don't think they were ill-gotten gains in most cases. >> do you think it matters to most people? >> i think most americans respect success, as long as you didn't cheat to get it. i think there are people on wall street who did bad things and created instruments that took if other people and elevated them. i don't think, and steve knows more about this than i do. i don't think that's what bain capital did. there were failures where some companies went away. but the goal of theirs was not to extract -- >> willie, that's the difference. if he had created these exotic instruments and made billions of dollars and had nothing to do show for it. i would be saying on the show, mitt romney, you are what's wrong with america because you made all of these billions and you created nothing. you can't say that with romney.
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and i think that's at least why i don't -- >> i think that's exactly right. you not only can't say that romney made his money in some seedy or sleazy or marginal kind of way. but the second thing you can say is the reason romney paid 15% was not because he had all kinds of artful tax shelters, it's simple, it's because we had a series of tax cuts that lowered the tax rate on capital gains. and on carried interest and on dividends. and got him to this place. and he is a poster boy for what's wrong with the tax system. and by the way, last night, when romney said to gingrich, do i understand correctly, your plan, under your plan i would have paid zero tax? gingrich said, yeah. >> listen, i think the onlymont ton climb in this in terms of his wealth is that we are looking and talking a lot lately about the growing disparity in our society and he's going to have to work to connect on it.
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but trying to make him look like a criminal or a liar, it doesn't work. on the other side, it might a little bit, in terms of mincing words, let's get to one other bit of news today in his last state of the union before the 2012 election, president obama is expected to address the issue of economic inequality. and how the government can insure fairness for all citizens. some of the president's suggested proposals will consider include tax breaks for companies that bring jobs back to the country, more refinancing for homeowners in trouble and tax reform calling for wealthy americans to pay more as the bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 expire. a bit later steve has charts looking at the president's tax plan versus romney's and gingrich's. i look forward to that. >> that will be fascinating. final thought, john? >> just to be clear about the thing about romney. i think the thing we discussed in south carolina, i totally agree with everything everybody said at the table. his problem is when he it comes to discussing his personal wealth, he has not done it in a
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comfortable way. he's been awkward about it. i don't think republicans represent him for making money, i think he needs to talk about it in a way that doesn't make him look uncomfortable and in a way that relates to average people. the awkwardness and some of the things that make him seem that he's uncomfortable with his own success. >> i think two things explain that. one, and the segment would sound awfully self-serving, but people that know romney would agree. the first thing is he's not a self-made man. he created this company from dust. but he he was the father of a very wealthy, son -- i mean the son, yeah, of a very powerful, very wealthy guy. so i've always found that self-made men or women that came from absolutely nothing. they got no problem telling you. yeah, i'm rich. i did this on my own. i delivered papers when i was six. and they will tell you in a second they're proud of it. and they should be proud of it. the second thing is, you can't overstate the fact, he is a
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mormon. he is taught from day one, kind of like bush 41, about humility. talking about money, talking about charity, talking about all of the things he does, people that have known romney for a long time, that aren't going to vote for him, say this about him is he gets very uncomfortable when talking about that. so i think it may state one of the reasons why he is not a great presidential candidate. because you got to be able to say look at me, look at me. >> one quick note before we go to break. you asked how many republicans voted against medicare part d, 25. 204 voted for it, 25 voted against it. >> in the house? >> is that all? >> and none of them, except for maybe paul ryan, none of them would be plausible press dngs candidates in 2012. >> we'll talk to presidential candidate rick santorum, senior white house adviser, valerie
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jarrett, and brzezinski has a new book out. >> did you read it? >> yes, i did. it's a good book. he'll be joined by the "washington post's" david ignatius. up next, mike allen with the top political stories. but first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> yesterday tiat this time we were dealing with the alabama tornadoes, we have devastation to recover from. 200 homes shattered, about 12 tornadoes in four states, about four of those were estimated there in alabama. today is much calmer. a warm morning out there, especially the east coast. i think everyone is going to enjoy that. we have storm number two coming up into areas of texass we go throughout the day today and into tomorrow. could have some very heavy rain right around one to two inches. that's the only wet spot. beautiful day from boston d.c. the middle of the country looks pretty nice, except for the rain in texas. some video if our friends in utah. there's nothing worse than freezing rain, then with snow over the top of it, and these
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cars had no chance going down this hill. this person wasn't too bad. this one, met the snowplow. hopefully he won't be driving anything like that any time soon. we haven't had much snow around the country this winter. d.c. is one of those spots, pretty much snow-free. you're watching "morning joe."
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it is clear now, that this is a two-man race. romney and gingrich in it for the long haul. it seems crazy, but well at least republicans have got to be happy. >> newt gingrich has embarrassed the party. >> romney is looking soulless, he's look like a wooden man. >> newt gingrich is the least
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conservative of these candidates and the least electable. >> romney, very emotional, very detached. >> newt is not a conservative. >> mitt romney's problem is somehow his romneyness. >> maybe not his romneyness, but maybe his mittness. [ laughter ] >> i think i can settle this enter-party squabble. you're all right. they're both terrible. >> okay, i, i am stunned. i have some stunning news brought -- willie is at the medicare part d $7 trillion debt desk for us and we have some stunning news. this is -- this is one of the more depressing moments for me as a conservative over past decade. i can't -- this is -- >> a happy moment for me. >> and my moment of vindication. this is shocking to me. >> all right, tell us. >> looking at the vote in 2003. >> one paper, i like this story. time to take a look at the
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morning papers, we'll start with the "new york times," which says senator scott brown of massachusetts and his likely opponent, elizabeth warren agreed yesterday on a plan to slow outside groups from running attack ads in their upcoming race. the agreement requires the campaigns to make a charitable donation every time an outside ad supports one candidate or attacks their opponent. see, that's a classy race. >> okay. >> i'm sorry. that's a classy race. what now? >> i know people on the left don't like brown, people on the right don't like -- >> they're both fantastic. >> they're both fantastic and scott's going to win. >> no, elizabeth. >> scott will win. >> it's elizabeth. >> scott. stop it. i'm going to get ratner to give scott brown some money. >> she's massachusetts hot, you know it. >> can i say this is shocking -- willie geist -- i. >> maybe not shocking to me. >> this sun believable!
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paul ryan, supported the $7 trillion medicare part d plan, which $7 trillion, they did not pay for a cent of it. did not pay for a cent of this. do you know -- he voted for it. i have no idea how anybody who claims to be small-government conservative can do that. i will tell you, let's put a guy on the honor roll. i need to call mike pence. hey, mike pence, will you please give me a call, i can tell you what qualifying dates are still open, you can still run for president of the united states. and i know rich people like steve ratner, we're going to get you some money. please run. mike, willie geist. >> ratner for mike pence. mike pence voted against the $7
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trillion medicare part d plan which doesn't pay -- do we have any word on toomey? was toomey -- >> it looks like toomey voted against it. >> let's be clear. having looked down the list. >> senator toomey, if you can get somebody emailing us, i want to put you on this honor roll. this vote, can i just say john, the reason why we're making such a big deal about this vote, is this vote more than any other vote explains what happened to the republican party over the past decade. these so-called small government conservatives that i worked with, and when i left town, we had $155 billion surplus, there's reason why when bush left town we had a $1.5 trillion deficit. and this $7 trillion medicare part d drug benefit program, that they didn't pay for a cent. all of these so-called republican stalwarts voted for it? >> yes. and willie, how many republicans voted against it? >> 25. >> out of 225. >> so very small number.
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and if you look at those 25, there are some very good people on the list. but there's reasonably only one, mike pence, who was a conceivable republican presidential candidate this time around. just to make a point. there were not a lot of conservative champions of national stature fighting against this bill. >> do we have word on toomey? pat toomey voted against it. all right. i'll tell you what, there's no way club for growth would have let that guy in the front doores if he had voted for this thing. >> they have let paul ryan in the front door. >> so i'm going to put pat toomey over here. this is really, there are votes that really define somebody's political character. and this is one of those votes. when you have a republican president pressuring you to vote for a $7 trillion boondoggle bill that's unpaid for in a system that's already going bankrupt. it's unbelievable.
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>> it's everything you've been talking about since the show got on the air. >> paul ryan said he supported the lesser of two evils. he said president bush made it clear to him that he was going to sign house bill which had things that ryan liked in it. or he was going to sign a smat bill -- >> a $7 trillion bill that's not paid for? that's not the lesser of two evils. but speaking of the lesser of two evils, thank god jim van dehyde is not here. mike allen is here, how are you? >> let's talk about the debate last night. tampa, brian williams moderating the debate. could have taken a two-shot the whole time. you had romney and gingrich and out on the fringes, santorum and ron paul. what's your take-away. settle there's a tweet that said ron paul and rick santorum seemed like chaperones with mitt and newt going at it.
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we agree with mika's opening question, that mitt romney staunched the bleeding and he's back on the horse. he didn't shine, he still seemed over programmed. at times. still some little awkward talking about his taxes. but he was on the offensive. he had newt answering him. and gave him all the momentum going into this, going into this tough day where he's going to have to deal with his taxes. where he's going to have to deal with the polls that you've been showing, that show that newt's surge is continuing from south carolina. >> we showed the ad earlier, mike allen, which seems to be effective in florida, talking about newt gingrich working with freddie mac, even as a lot of houses in florida were going under. whl we see more of this this week? >> we are and mitt romney will continue to do it himself. which is risky. he's not going to outnewt newt. he's not a natural attack dog. i agree with joe's ponte. he needs to be making the case
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for himself. something that hurt gingrich last night. brian williams imposed displn on the audience, told them not to applaud that brought down the energy in the room and made it harder for newt to have one of his moments. >> yes, it certainly was not charleston. mike allen with a look at the political playbook. coming up, the boston bruins honored at the white house for their stanley cup victory. >> that's nice. >> but the team's star goalie, playoff mvp declines the invite and releases a mini manifesto explaining it. >> good lord, just shut up and go to the white house. >> meanwhile, senator john kerry showed up at the same event, looking like the team's enforcer. two black eyes and a broken nose. >> what's going on there? >> we'll find out, when we come back. when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we were determined to see it through.
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here's an update on the progress. we're paying for all spill related clean-up costs. bp findings supports independent scientists studying the gulf's environment. thousands of environmental samples have been tested and all beaches and waters are open. and the tourists are back. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp.
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i'm giving you the silent treatment. so you're calling to tell me you're giving me the silent treatment? ummm, yeah. jen, this is like the eighth time you've called... no, it's fine, my family has free unlimited mobile-to-any-mobile minutes. i can call all i want. i don't think you understand how the silent treatment works. hello? [ male announcer ] buy unlimited messaging and get free unlimited calling to any mobile phone on any network. at&t.
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welcome back to "morning joe." time for some sports, last week, president obama welcomed the st. louis cardinals to the white house to celebrate their world series title. yesterday, the boston bruins were in town, recognized for their stanley cup victory. it was the team's first championship in 39 years. but not everybody on the roster was there. >> what? >> the team's goalie, playoff mvp, tim thomas, skipped the
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event and not because he had a scheduling conflict. it was a protest. >> oh my god. >> the goaltender put out a statement reading, i believe the federal government has grown out of control. threatening the rights, liberties and property of the people. this is in direct opposition to the constitution and the founding fathers' vision. this was not about politics or party, as in my opinion, both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. >> i see a congressional run, willie. >> it sounds like he's in my party. small government. >> a ron paul republican. >> the bruins president, cam neily says the team is disappointed by thomas' decision. >> not only is he a great goalie, i guarantee you he would have never voted for a $7 trillion medicare part d plan that was not paid for. >> no, absolutely not. >> john kerry was also there, too. two black eyes and a broken
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nose. >> is he okay? >> fitting right in with the bruins right there. his spokesperson says the senator was injured during a pick-up game, you guessed it, of hockey. not in a bar brawl, mika. sorry to disappoint you. >> there must have been a lot of body-checking. it looks like we're going to have a big ratings bonanza for the super bowl. the giants and the patriots getting ready. there's speculation it could be the most-watched super bowl ever. sunday's afc game watched by 48 million people. the second-largest audience for an afc championship game in 30 years. the biggest afternoon audience in decades. on the nfc side, 57.6 million people watched the giants overtime win over the 49ers. the third most-watched championship game ever. you've got a new york market, tom brady and the super bowl. >> it's going to be a big game. >> still ahead, we'll bring in presidential candidate, rick santorum, also former national
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security adviser and relative of someone on this set, although we're not going to give it away yet, dr. zbigniew brzezinski will be here. up next, how does president obama's tax plan stack up against gingrich and romney's? steve ratner is here with his charts, next. ♪
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quickly scans the market for new trading ideas. it can even match options strategies to your goals and lets you see the potential risk and reward. and, it also comes with a dedicated elite service team. got it? get it. good. introducing new etrade pro elite. ♪ all right. waiting for the sun to come up in washington. time for the must-read opinion pages and then we have some amazing charts by steve ratner. >> i love charts. >> they're good, they spell it out for you. first -- "washington post," the key to recovery, boosting business confidence by larry summers. growing inequality will have to be addressed in the united states and beyond. but there is the risk that
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policies introduced in the name of fairness, that excessively burden job-creating investment could actually exacerbate the challenges facing the middle class. at a moment of substantial doubt about government's functionality, government could greatly increase confidence by devising clear plans to better align spending and taxing once recovery is established. by working to directly increase demand and augment business confidence, governments have the best chance of creating economic recovery. that should be the near-term focus of economic debates at davos and beyond. anyone disagree? >> i can't believe that paul ryan voted for the $7 trillion medicare part d drug benefit plan. >> what do you say about this op-ed? >> what larry is saying we should have short-term stimulus to get the plan going and
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long-term deficit reduction to get our house in order. the devil is in the details, of course? >> look how much money we've spent on the stimulus, what's it done? >> save the economy. >> has it saved the economy? >> it has saved the economy. >> you call this saving the economy? >> i would say we're better off than where we would be. >> it depends. we're walking a tightrope here. we had basically a $1 trillion stimulus plan when the president first got in. we got another trillion dollars in stimulus spending after the 2010 elections with the extension of the tax cuts, the unemployment benefits, that's about $2 trillion in stimulus spending, that noxious from $14 trillion, to $16 trillion in debt? i mean at some point, steve, we've got to pull back. >> at some point we have to pull back. >> and at some point is like really soon. >> and we are starting to pull back. the fact is we still have about 8 .5% unemployment it would have been over 10, but for the stimulus. >> how do you know that? >> a little birdie told me.
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>> isn't it true that if we were at a real precipice -- >> the market believes we have plenty of capacity. i do agree with the broad point of the piece. we've got to get out of it. >> let's get to your charts tonight. the president delivers his state of the union and he goes on a three-day trip across the country, focusing on jobs. where would you lyiike to start here? >> the president is going to articulate the difference between him and the republicans. and the idea is that there are problems between the have's and the have not's and one of the areas he'll talk about it and highlights it is taxes. the various tax plans coming forward, we know that president obama is on record as favoring appeal for bush tax cuts for the highest income earners. the top 2%, 3% of people, whose tax rates would go from 35 to 39%. >> those people making over $250,000 for a household,
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$200,000 for an individual. romney would maintain the tax cuts as they are. gingrich would give people the choice between the bush tax cuts and the flat tax. you see three very different visions of taxes. the same is true on capital gains and dividends, which is the source of most of romney's income of course. obama would like to raise it from 15% to 20%. romney would like as he said last night in the debate to eliminate it for people making less than $200,000. >> does it state 15% for $200,000 and above with romney? >> correct. and gingrich incredibly would like to eliminate it altogether. which as the point was made last night, would eliminate romney's taxes. >> that would mean romney would be paying 0% instead of 15%? >> yes. the famous carried interest that certain private equity and hedge fund guys get. obama would like to tax it at 39%.
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romney would like to maintain the current 15%, and gingrich would like to eliminate it again altogether so those guys would pay no tax. nd then finally on the estate tax. the so-called death tax that people talk about, obama would like to go back to the 2009 levels. >> which is what? >> 45% on over $3.5 million estate. >> and what is it now? >> now it's in the process of being eliminated, actually. it's, there's a now it's 35%. a $5 million exclusion and 35%. let me go to the last charts. if you take the totality of these proposals in 2015, just to take a year when it's all in effect, obama would increase for the top 1%, the famous 1%, obama would increase their taxes by 8 7,000. romney down by 82,000. and gingrich down by 340,000. and if you go to the very last chart and you see what this does
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to federal revenues, obama would increase them by $154 billion, and romney cuts them by, and it would pay for your part d medicare and then some. >> seven years. wow. >> john heilemann, how -- how much do people pay attention to this on the campaign trail? i know, obviously "the wall street journal" editorial page, a lot of other conservative activities pay close attention to this. on the campaign trail how much do they? >> in terms of the comparative tax plan? >> how many people know that newt gingrich is eliminating the capital gains tax, the death tax. >> i think not many. i think the notion that the two of them, they have not driven the minor contrast between their tax plans that much. i think most conservative voters know that both of them would like to tax us less than barack obama wants to. >> and nothing to pay for it. >> thank you, steve, we'll be right back.
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time for news you can't use. remember ehad the stephen colbert guy on the show on friday? >> yeah. >> he was something else. >> he's a sweet thing. >> he's in south carolina, a vote for cain is a vote for colbert. back in december, during the speech to announce the end of
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his campaign. mr. cain made this strange pokemon reference. >> let me leave you with this -- i believe these words came from the pokemon movie. life can be a challenge. life can seem impossible. it's never easy when there's so much on the line. >> so that was back in december. december 3rd. at the rally that colbert and cain held in charleston on friday, we got to hear it again. this time, in song form. colbert and cain in charleston. >> i would also like to thank all of you for being here. pokemon! the pokemon thing. i know me some pokemon words. i believe the words go like this -- i didn't say i was going to sing it.
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♪ believe all these things ♪ not because i told to ♪ but believe in yourself >> all i can add to herman's eloquent quotation from pokemon, is -- gotta catch 'em all! >> herman cain. >> on request. knew the words to the pokemon song. delivered, i thought, very soul fully and artfully. >> awesome, with the shades again. >> can we get him back? maybe he'll get back in the race. >> no? >> he could. >> he could. >> coming up next, we'll talk to guy who is actually in the race, presidential candidate, rick santorum and "fortune" magazine's andy serworth and
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they rejected conservatism when it was hard to stand. it's going to be hard to stand, whoever the president is going to be elected. it's going to be tough. there is going to be a mountain of problems, it's going to be easy to bail out and compromise your principles. we have gentlemen here on the three issues that got the tea party started. that are the base of the
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conservative movement now in the republican party. and there is no difference between president obama and these two gentlemen. and that's why this election here in florida is so critical. that we have someone that actually can create a contrast between the president and the conservative point of view. >> that candidate will be joining us momentarily. welcome back to "morning joe." john heilemann is still with us and joining the table, managing editor of "fortune" magazine, andy serward with us. good to see you. >> exciting to be here. >> last night's debate, it was, it was fascinating turn. >> it was, romney was very aggressive. but i think the lack of applause might have thrown some of the other candidates off. i think that was a great point you made last hour. >> john heilemann, you look at south carolina where they actually, the organizers were actually throwing raw meat into the crowd, before it started and then last night they had people with fire, fire hoses ready to
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hose them down if anybody coughed. but it really, newt gingrich needs the laugh track. >> it neutralized one of newt's biggest advantages, one of the things that newt did so well at both debates in south carolina, he played to the crowd, he played the crowd. and romney was incapable of doing that. it gave newt gingrich is a huge boost last night and it hurt gingrich relative to romney. >> you get the idea that gingrich has some lines and in his mental script it says pause for standing ovation. and he got off some lines last night and he sat and he sat and it was silent. when he talked about fidel castro going to hell rather than waiting for his maker. it was silent and it threw him off. >> these things aren't pep rallies, they should be serious endeavors so i think we can do without the laugh tracks. >> let's bring in one of the candidates, we have rick santorum with us. joining us now from sarasota, florida, good to have you on the
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show this morning. >> rick. it's good to have you here. why don't you size up the race for us right now. a lot of talk about mitt romney and newt gingrich going after each other. you're just the polite guy on the side of the stage, you know, getting some punches in. but maybe not being focused on enough. >> well, this is the ebb and flow of a race. and you know, we had a little bit of focus, not as much as we could have, had they declared us the winner of iowa at the very beginning. but we got on the map. and it really helped us tremendously, it's put us in great position. we're raising money, we're in a very strong cash plus position in the campaign. we are expanding our base, our field staff. and building up in all the states, all the future states, we feel very, very good that we're in this race for the long haul. as i mentioned, last night,
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we're the best clear alternative to president obama. we're the guy that as you know, blue collar roots, can attract the votes that we need to win. i think eventually as people go through this race, they're going to see that the other two candidates have some severe flaws that would make them the issue in the campaign, instead of someone who is going to make obama the issue in the campaign. >> so rick, it's going to be a long, hard slog because of the way these delegates are going to be rewarded. this thing is going to be going through the summer, most likely. florida is not your type of state. just because it's massive. it's 30-second ads, you basically buy florida. it's momentum in 30 soi-second . what states are you looking towards, saying this is where i'm going to pitch my flag and where my message is going to resonate? >> we believe that the industrial states are the place that is best for me. my home turf, you know, pennsylvania, ohio. you know, missouri. michigan. even though michigan is a romney state, again proportional, we think we can do very well there.
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frankly, we think we can do well, looking at the proportional, again, we can continue to be in there, we can run strongly. and i really believe this race is going to change again. this race isn't going to stay where it is right now. the candidates are not making the clothes and we feel again, that on closer inspection, the longer the race stands out there, the more concerns people have raised about both of these candidates, we feel very comfortable that our moment will come and we'll be running through a lot of good states. >> let me ask you about those candidates. you say you're in this for the long haul. according to the latest national gallup tracking poll we have mitt romney and newt gingrich in a statistical tie at the top. in just a few days, romney has dropped eight points and gingrich has gained 14. you're at the bottom of the pack. what do you make? what do you think is behind gingrich's surge here? >> well obviously winning south carolina, and i think your points earlier were right.
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newt did a great job playing to the crowd. he should be paying john king a retainer for the question that, that he threw at him. i mean just you just can't -- sometimes i wonder, no offense, you guys, sometimes i wonder whether you're just not that smart. i mean -- >> i'm sorry, let me stop you, rick, if you're talking about me, yeah, i take offense. because you know i'm a pretty smart guy. >> well, yeah, but i mean, mitt and i looked at each other, how big of a beach ball was that to hit? and then of course he just completely wilted. it was -- >> you're talking about john king? >> great for newt. but it had a huge impact in south carolina. there was a real movement in south carolina among conservatives that mitt romney had to be to stopped. and when newt looked like the guy that was rising as a result of a couple of those debates. a lot of guys piled on newt to make sure romney was stopped.
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and i understand that. certainly had i not won south carolina, it was probably best that newt did and it opened up the race. >> rick, it's kept it going. and now we're at a stage now where newt needs to be slowed down. even if, it used to be four years ago, that if you, if you delivered a blow like it was delivered to romney, the bleeding would start and he wouldn't recover. i suspect, i believe newt's going to be slowed down in florida. but again, this is a brave new world for let's say, you're at 11% right now. let's say you win in industrial states, suddenly you pop up. have you ever seen a presidential race like this with the ebb and flow? >> isn't this great? >> it's crazy. >> here's what i get a kick out of. is the media for some reason wants to make this a two-man race. and every time they made it a two-man race it turned out to be the wrong two people. and yet there's still this desire to have this binary choice, when if they should all understand that this is a much
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more complex situation. and there is going to be an ebb and flow. and obviously i appreciate you giving me the opportunity to be on the show. i think we did very, very well last night. i think we scored the points that we needed to. i think if you know, i stayed above the fray. and looked like the guy who was the best guy to take on obama and i think that's going to have an impact here in florida. you know, no, i'm not predicting a win. i don't have the money now to be able to do that. like i said, this is a long, long race, and we're going to stay here and we're going to compete here. and who knows, we may even surprise here. depending on the amount of carnage that goes on between the other two. >> john heilemann, let me go to you for a second here. they've all won one race. and i wonder if newt does win florida and that looks more inevitable. if evangelical leaders don't get more aggressive. moving toward rick santorum saying newt is just not acceptable? >> i think that's certainly possible and i think senator santorum is going to need to do more than he's done so far to
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exploit the support of evangelical leaders that came out in sport of him in texas. i want ask him a question. you did a town hall meeting at american legion hall in lady lakes, senator. and there was a senator who asked you about, who started with the premise that president obama is not legally qualified to be president. and called him an avowed muslim. you didn't respond to that. you're taking some criticism for that. i'm wondering whether you want to speak to that here today. >> guys, i've spoken of that repeatedly throughout the course of this campaign. everybody else has, too. i've said repeatedly that i don't believe president obama is a muslim and he's qualified. this was an elderly lady, she was there leaning on a cane, she was quite wobbly and i'm not going to zlit and slam an older lady because she has some way-out, some bizarre beliefs. it's your responsibility to defend the president, not mine. i've made my position clear on this issue. i don't know why you guys are so
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fixa fixated, making sure republicans, every time somebody says something, that the media don't believe it's true, it's my responsibility. but when the media says lies about me and call me things and that it's okay and promoted and encouraged and made fun of when we do it, stop it. i'm not here to defend the president. and against you know, attacks. it's not my job. any more than you seem it's your job to defend me against attacks. >> i just got to know -- playing the role of john king this morning, john heilemann -- you've got an h in your name. >> i will point out that the previous presidential candidate nominee from the republican party, john mccain felt like it was his duty in 2008 to make clear when he was questioned by someone on these issues that he should point out that president obama was not a muslim. and was not, was perfectly legally qualified. so senator santorum can say those things, but he's not, he's not in line with the previous nominee of his own party. >> listen very clear, i am not
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john mccain and i've never been like john mccain. and i'm not running as a candidate who is anything like john mccain. >> senator santorum, it's willie geist here, how do you change the dynamic of this race at this point. you thought maybe in south carolina, given your religious background, you might capture some of that evangelical vote. you did get some of it, but a lot of it went to newt gingrich, despite the beach ball and all the talk about his personal life. how do you change the dynamic of this race, given what joe has said as well about the state of florida being very difficult without tons of money and ground game. how does rick santorum pop up so we're not talking about a binary race? >> it's the fourth state, 46 other states to go. and if you want to say how do we change the dynamic? wait a couple of days, the dynamic in this race is going to change. that's what we've seen throughout the course of this race of the it's been a race that's been defined by that. and i, i believe that will
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happen. and we're certainly doing our part. we're making the case and we're out there articulating the very strong and clear vision. and i think as people see the flaws in the other two candidates, we're going, we're going to begin and are going to be attracting a lot more support. >> and senator, what would you say are the biggest flaw for each candidate, for mitt romney, one, and for newt gingrich the other? ones you can exploit. >> i think i laid them out last night pretty clearly. you know, at the heart of the conservative movement is the tea party. this is the group that energized the republican party in 2010. it is a huge factor. and conservatives generally are, are the real base of the party. and you have on probably the most important issues that we have to go after barack obama, and the left, the overtaking of the health care system. the wall street bailouts, and auto bailouts and other types of government intruks into the marketplace like dodd-frank, and you throw on top of that, the climate change and the attempt to take over a big sector of the
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economy, manufacturing and energy, and all threes of these major issues, which were the foundational issues that the tea party became active on, we have the potential of giving every one of those issues away in this electi election, by nominating romney or gingrich. and i don't think we're in a position that we can be giving away our best issues and still win the campaign. >> hey, rick, i'm sorry, senator. >> i'm going up to pensacola on thursday, joe. >> are you really? all right. >> i'm going to see your mayor friend, mayor hayward? >> ashton. >> he has very white teeth. >> when you see ashton, i want you to tell me what's whiter, his teeth or pensacola beaches, they're both very, very white. >> well i'm looking forward. i've never been to pensacola, i'm looking forward to that. >> you're going to love it and i guarantee you they're going to absolutely love you there. >> a little-known fact when i first ran for congress in 1994, joe gaylord gave me rick santorum's plan when he ran in
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1990. i was the first republican elected in my district since 1872. rick was in the swing district. and i followed it. so these pensacola people are going to absolutely love you. so -- >> i'll never forget, joe, the first day that it was, i we came back for a nafta vote and you were in a training session on the floor of the house. and i walked into the well of the house and this big guy comes running down the center aisle, pointed his finger saying, i'm here because of you. i'll never forget that. i've now had to apologize to several people because of that. but nevertheless. >> exactly. it's all your fault. so i have, we've been shocked this morning. i just found out that paul ryan voted for the medicare part d plan, $7 trillion plan, doesn't pay -- >> he can't let go of this. >> this is important. rick, i just heard you talking about the federal government taking over, health care. you obviously also, i've heard you talk about this before, you
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also voted in 2004 for this medicare part d plan. i think there are some conservatives like myself, who were really disappointed that that bill passed. if i'm thinking about voting for you, in florida, next week, and the one thing i just can't get past is that you voted for a $7 trillion bill that wasn't paid for. what -- and i'm dead serious here. because i still haven't made up my mind on who i'm going to vote for. what do you tell me as a small government conservative that said the federal government shouldn't have done this? >> well i would say two things. you're absolutely right. we should have paid for it i argued to pay for it i argued for it not to be a universal benefit. the two flaws in that bill were the fact that it wasn't paid for. that we should have been offset it from other medicare spending. and we should not have made it a universal benefit. it didn't need to be a universal benefit. you know, newt made the defense of it last night, which was actually accurate. that we had a situation where p you were an outpatient medicare and you had insulin or other types of outpatient care,
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pharmaceuticals, you simply didn't get the care. but if you stayed in the hospital, you did. so it actually was a bizarre system where people were kept in the hospital longer, running up more costs for medicare, because it didn't do what every other insurance policy did, which was to cover outpatient prescriptions. the reason it didn't, was because the benefit was put in place in 1965 and there wasn't a substantial amount. we should have paid for it it was a mistake not to pay for it. i've said it publicly. i said i would have voted differently. the reason i voted for it, not only because of what newt said there were health savings accounts in there. that's something i advocated for 15 years and believe and still believe today. that it's a transformational change in the private sector. we didn't get everything we wanted in that bill, but the idea that we planted the seed with health savings accounts was vitally important and the reforms of the medicare program. the medicare advantage programs, which was to create a private-sector alternative to medicare and the construction of
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the medicare prescription drug program was exactly what paul ryan and ron widen were advocate for medicare today. we have the structure of the medicare drug program the right way. it's come in 40% under budget. because of that private-sector structure. so there were some good things, there were some things that conservatives could be supportive of. >> if you had to vote for it again today, if you had to make that decision again today, would you vote for it again? >> well, no, i've said repeatedly i would not. only because of the funding. but the other parts of the bill were very much worth it. and the reason i say i wouldn't vote for it today is that health savings accounts and medicare advantage, both of those things have been dialed back, and as a result, the reforms haven't come through like i hoped. >> let me ask you about money. we've, we've learned that mitt romney -- >> got some? >> is worth perhaps a quarter of a billion dollars.
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newt gingrich seems to be picking up millions and millions from shelden adelson, a las vegas billionaire, with a net worth about $20 billion, who spent so far, you know less than .1 of 1% of his network on newt gingrich in his campaign. what are you doing to keep up with these guys? isn't this just going to knock you out of the water? that's a lot of money from these two guys. >> well, i mean we have a super pac and we are getting much smaller amounts of money. we do have it and they've participated in a couple of states. my guess is although i don't know, i can't coordinate. i have no idea how they're doing. but you know, i suspect that they're, i'm hopeful as we continue to do well here. that they'll participate. and look, our online and other types of fundraising has been going very well. we've in a very strong cash plus position right now. we're able to go out and target and compete in states that we think we can pull off some surprises. and i feel very good that as i
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said, this campaign goes forward and our ideas and the track record gets out there. that the money will continue to flow and we'll be successful. >> on to florida, senator rick santorum, thank you very much. see you on the campaign trail. >> rick, we're going to, i want to give you a call, we'll get you lined up in pensacola. >> say hi to mr. mayor for us. >> and eat at the fish house. >> perfect. coming up, talk to white house senior adviser, valerie jarrett ahead of the president's state of the union tonight. plus dr. zbigniew brzezinski whose new book is owl today. and the "washington post's" david ignatius will join us, up next, nbc's chuck todd and former rnc chairman michael steele will break down the fight for florida. the employee of the month isss...
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tell them the messenger sent you. come on around. we'll fill up your tank for you. 5 more inches, 10, and you're good. now you're lined up for some free gas and savings, eh? [ horn honks ] hey, we're trying to save here. i came in for this. yeah, fill it up, too. thank you. don't thank me. i'm just the messenger. thursday, debate, newt
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feasted on the flesh of john king. >> your ex-wife gave an interview to abc news, she said you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. would you like to take some time to respond to that. >> no, but i will. >> it is a subject of conversation on the campaign. i take your point. >> john, it was repeated by your network, you chose to start the debate with it, don't try to blame somebody else. you and your staff chose to start this debate with it. >> after a kill that big, newt doesn't have to eat again for two weeks. >> oh! okay. >> graphic, graphic. >> one way of characterizing what happened.
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welcome back, a live look at the white house on a foggy morning in washington. here with us from washington, nbc news chief white house correspondent and political director and host of the "daily rundown" chuck todd. and from tampa, florida, msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the republican national committee, michael steele. gentlemen, thanks for joining us. >> chuck todd, debate last night, quite a bit different than the one in south carolina. were you there, what were your thoughts? >> well i think you saw the role-swapping there a little bit with romney the aggressor and gingrich trying to play above the fray, trying to not engage. what i found interesting is we know the strategy here from romney. it's not just to try to raise some negatives about gingrich. but at the debate itself, it was about drawing him out. i think they thought feisty, angry newt, the frankly the newt gingrich that gave what i thought was, was an off-key victory speech from saturday night, where he was channeling this idea of resentment in his victory speech, it's one thing
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to do it at the debates, to do it when he's trying to set himself up as a front-runner. you almost felt as if the gingrich campaign told him hey, you need to start acting like a front-runner. you need to start acting like a happy warrior. >> but, chuck, isn't that a mistake? i mean every time newt goes into the lead, he tries, if he tries to act this way, it goes against type, it goes against the very thing that conservatives love about him. >> i think, i get your point on that. i just think they wanted to see if it would make romney look shrill. if him constantly going on the attack and newt sort of not taking the bait, if it would reflect poor on romney. i think romney delivered his text better than i had seen him before. he didn't get angry. perhaps he was helped by the crowd wasn't trying to be a factor in the debate the way you saw at previous debates. romney seemed a little more comfortable.
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the other thing he did is he backed off. after 30 minutes of trying, he realized gip grich is playing rope-a-dope, i'm not going to keep doing this because i could look worse. >> michael steele, would you like to chime in? and then i would like to ask you if mitt romney handled the tax issue or fumbled it once again. >> i thought it was awful, it was just dry, people were frustrated, they wanted to respond, they were told beforehand, you better not make any noise. and the twitter feeds were just blowing up. it played into romney's hand. it was a romney-style debate. there was little emotion to it it was sterile almost in its presentation. newt played to that as well. he just, as chuck said, he kept it down-key and he didn't get excited. because he didn't want to be drawn into that debate. but it got to a point after 30
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minutes where enough was enough. and they had to move on. because it just was not opening any new ground. it was a rehash of old stories about bain and freddie mac and fannie mae. and you could feel it almost palpable in the audience, the frustration with the way things were going. >> john heilemann? >> i'll ask both of you guys in sequence, chuck first and michael. on the question of romney's taxes. the third straight debate where he's had the question. he's had a lot of time to prep, he didn't do well last night. do you think he did better last night? and how do you think the story is going to play out today? >> no, not when you see what was coming. here he had an opportunity to sort of set the stage for what was coming. and i think you know, this is going to be, other than having this little back and forth with newt, hey, under your tax plan, newt, i wouldn't have paid any taxes because you want to zero out capital gains. here he had a way to put his own spin on it and he chose not to. again, it's list attempt to back away. one more point in the debate.
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there is one really, i think tough moment for romney. and that was toward the end, when the conversation turned back to ideology and romney was asked, what have you done for, ha have you done to advance the conservative movement, and mitt romney went, well, my family, well, that didn't advance conservatives. he can't answer that question very well, either. >> michael? >> i'll pick up where chuck just left off. i thought that was an absolute killjoy for romney. santorum hit that one out of the box. he was an indictment against both newt and romney on that point. i thought it was very, very strong. i think on the tax question, i mean my goodness, really, at this point, you don't have an answer for that? you have no way to talk about how you created wealth for you and your family and the businesses that you had your hand on? and the folks who worked for you? i mean come on, it's just, it's almost to the point where it's farcical, that in all the prep and all the preparation, you
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cannot figure out a concise answer that puts in the context wealth creation. so as long as he has that problem, he's going to stay a 25%, the base is going to look elsewhere. newt is going to generate momentum or santorum going to generate momentum and this thing could stretch out into the summer and we'll see here in tampa with the convention that will be buck wild. >> chuck, i'm fixated on money this morning and i just want to know, you know -- >> as always. >> it's better than your usual fixations. >> we can't discuss that. >> you work for "fortune." >> exactly. >> so the fact that mitt romney is worth a quarter of a billion dollars and newt gingrich has gotten at least $10 million from sheldon adelson and his wife, which is 1/20th of 1% of that couple's network. 1/20th of 1%. how does this play out with the electorate? are people concerned that you
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have a multi-multimillionaire on one hand and a billionaire on the other hand, basically bankrolling a candidate. is it a problem in america? >> it hasn't been framed that way. you do wonder, does gingrich run, have a risk here of basically, his entire campaign is being financed by one guy. one family. one couple. and you do wonder at some point, whether that you know, more and more coverage of who is shelly adelson. what does he want? why does he do this? can i bring another point? if you are team obama and you're going to have a member of team obama and you ask valerie jarrett or david plouffe or david axelrod, you pick the day that you would like mitt romney to release his tax return, i think in their wildest dreams they didn't think they could have it done the day of the state of the union, before the president is talking about the country about income inequality and tax reform. are you kidding me? i think they thought they could
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bury it with the state of the union. but now when the president talks about tax return and unfairness in the tax code, the most recent thing some viewers will have in their head is, yeah, mitt romney, made $40 million campaigning for president. >> yeah. i think we could ask valerie about that. she's coming up next. chuck todd and michael steele, thank you very much. >> wait a minute, a couple of quick things here, first of all, an email from somebody, housekeeping, a guy that worked for pat toomey, not only did pat vote no on the medicare drug bill, but he was the leader against the bill on the floor. that's one bit of information that's important. the second bit of information, the mayor of pensacola -- >> ashton. >> ashton has texted me and said, tell mika i don't want to have to fly up to new york. >> this is getting personal. >> i'm not worried, he'd have to leave his mirror. that will never happen. >> mr. mayor, i'm doing what i
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this is not just another political debate. this is the defining issue of our time. this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and all those fighting to get into the middle class. i believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot. when everyone does their fair share. when everyone plays by the same rules. these aren't democratic values or republican values. these aren't 1% values or 99% values. they're american values. and we have to reclaim them. >> that was president obama coming to the defense of the middle class last month. according to the white house, tonight's state of the union address will be a book end to the populist pitch the president
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made in that speech in kansas. here with us now, white house senior soeadviser valerie jarre joining us. >> good morning, everyone. >> hello, joe, hello everyone. the president is really looking forward to giving his address, state of the union, one of the most important opportunities for a president to have, each year to address the nation. and he will, it will be a book end as you said, mika, to the speech he gave in kansas, where he'll talk about what it takes to have a sustained growth and a strong economy. the values that our country was based on and it's really a plan that has four principles. the first is what can we do to grow manufacturing. so that we have conversations that are stamped made in america, all of the products that they're making. so he'll talk about what we can do to grow manufacturing in our country. what we can do to make sure we are reducing our dependence on foreign oil and building an energy plan for the future. he'll also talk about american
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workers, and what we have to do to make sure that our work force is prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. and finally and perhaps most importantly, american values, what you played in the tape in the introduction, a country where everybody plays by the rules. everyone has a fair opportunity. to work hard, put their children through college. save a little bit, so that they can retire and dignity. and if we do that, that's really the foundation of our country, so that's the president's vision of the country. eel lay it out this evening. >> what about the words, "economic disparity" valerie? how much of a theme will that be tonight? >> well think what he's going to talk about is the fact that if our country, our whole country is going to be strong, we cannot have the kind of economic disparity we've seen of late. we need to have a country, it's a make-or-break time for the middle class, we need to make sure that the middle class isn't left behind. eel talk about it in more detail, the buffett role.
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as warren buffett said that it's ridiculous for him to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary. and the president will be able to describe a little bit more in detail about the buffett role. it's a hopeful message, one about how we should all come together as a country. the election is still ten months away and the american people can't wait. right now, people are still struggling around their kitchen tables. even though we've had 22 consecutive months of private-sector job growth. 3.2 million jobs, we all know the unemployment rate is still too high. there's much work to do and the president is going to call upon congress, the republicans in congress in particular to work with him on the agenda. >> valerie, good morning, it's willie. >> hi, willie, how are you? >> i'm doing well, thank you. you just touched on it. you talked about a fair opportunity for all americans. we understand the president is going it talk about everybody getting a fair shake. i think we all agree that's a good concept. but what does it mean to the president and what does it mean to the white house in practice? how would we bring that about? because economic fairness is a
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concept that to a lot of people with money, is a little bit disturbing. the idea that they're not paying enough into the government. how do you define economic fairness? >> well, economic fairness is one where the tax code works for everybody. where people who are working hard are not paying a disproportionate amount. everybody benefits from government. whether it's our roads, our infrastructure, our public education. the internet. the research and development that goes into creating important drugs and technology, all of this is what government is there to do. it's there to do what the private sector can't do alone. this is not about a big government or a small government. it's about a smart government and a government that develops policies where everybody can compete on a level playing field. we are a country that's founded on entrepreneurship. we celebrate people being able to have an idea, turn that idea into a business and do very well. that's terrific. but as they do very well, it's important that they also give
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back a bit to the country that enabled them to do well. >> valerie, andy server here. are you frustrated, are you all in the white house frustrated that the american people, the approval rating of the president isn't higher, given that the economy is getting a little bit better? albeit, very slowly. >> we're still in very tough economic times. and there are as i said a minute ago, there are so many families who are still struggling. so they're frustrated and we share their frustration. that's why we can't wait until the next election. that's why the president says we have to take action right now. we have to extend the payroll tax that was extended for just two months at the end of last year. we have to make sure we're investing in manufacturing. we have to prepare our workforce. we have to make sure we're creating this level playing field. the president is going to call upon the republicans to work with him just as he has in the past. and he's also going to do everything within his power as an executive to make sure we're
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doing what government can to deliver on behalf of the american people. >> john heilemann? >> valerie, it's john heilemann here. i know you guys are trying not to pay that much attention to the republican presidential race. but i know you're paying at least a little attention. last week, newt gingrich got lot of mileage out of calling the president the best food stamp president in history. i'm curious whether you and the white house detect a racial overtone with newt gingrich for using that kind of language. >> the fact of the matter is more people are on food stamps. why? because of the crisis we've seen in our economy. and that crisis, as we know, began before the president was elected. if we had had rules of the road that could have averted this crisis, rather than creating this crisis, we wouldn't have as many people who are relying on the government. in a wide range of capacities. and so that's the answer to why we have so many people who are depending on government assistance. what the president is focusing on is what can we do to move
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people towards self-sufficiency? how do we do that? by investing in manufacturing. by giving people the skills that they need. by creating this level playing field. and so that's where our focus is. >> the question i think some might be wondering, is he going to sing tonight? >> we want to hear more from the reverend. >> valerie, he needs to at least get to the chorus. >> i was the one who said to him, do not go out there and sing. and he said, oh, no, i'm going to sing. and i have to say, he sounded pretty good. it was a pretty good message, which is let's stay together. it's a pretty good theme. >> reverse psychology, to get him to listen to you. interesting. >> yeah, yeah. >> hmm, valerie, thank you very much, we look forward to watching tonight and we'll talk to you soon. >> have a great day. coming up next, andy breaks down "fortune" magazine's list of the best companies to work for in 2012.
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get more whole grain than any other ingredient... just look for the white check. let's move on. andy is here to take us through -- >> did you like my sketchings? >> come up to my room and
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i'll -- >> why don't we leave? just stop it. >> between the two of us. >> stop! what's wrong with you, are you on cold medication? let's talk about the 100 best companies to work for. "morning joe" coming in at number three. >> with a bullet. it's something we do every year and the best, number one -- one of our favorite companies, google. >> really? >> big media companies love google. >> why is that? >> no, they don't, actually. but it's a great place to work and famously, the google plex in california has all kinds of amazing food, volleyball courts, incredible buses and places to walk your dogs and pet grooming and here in new york city, they have a new office and they've got something called, eyebrow shaping. for employees? what is that? >> are you serious? >> that's important. but does all the fluff on the side make you the best company to work for in america? >> they give you one day a week off to work on your own projects. >> oh, really? >> they also see your stock options on a constant upward
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escalator, that's a big plus. >> number two, a company not known as well, boston consulting group. tell me about them. >> boston consulting group, no the to be confused with bain. it's a place where they spend a huge amount of time and money on employees, recruiting people and retaining them. thousands and thousands of dollars. number three, s.a.s., a software company in south carolina, day care. incredible sick time. number four, wegmans. alec baldwin, wasn't he the spokesman for them for a while. >> does have anything to do with william wedmen? >> it's a supermarket chain and they treat people incredibly well. they keep working it and working it. great health care. >> edward jones. never played people off during the downturn. and you know, again they take care of people financially, great stock options there as well. >> did apple make your list?
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>> apple does not, you have to agree to participate in this service. so it's, we survey hundreds of companies. and you know, the employees of the employees are interviewed. if apple declines to participate, which as you can imagine they might do -- >> is geo on the list? did you like working at ge? >> i guess so. >> what about comcast? i'm walking blind here. >> comcast is on the list. >> how high up? >> it's higher up -- >> what kind of company is comcast? >> you still me. >> they leave us alone. we're like a terrorist cell on other own. >> that's not a nice way to say it. >> i think there's something to be said about empowering employees. >> they leave us alone. >> that's another way of saying they keep us segregated.
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but for the most part are they -- >> they're known to be a good place to work, honestly. >> what about ibm? are there any old-line companies that are making a transition and becoming more like, say, a google that, you know, fixes your dog sandwiches for brunch? >> it's hard to do that when you have 100,000 people working in your company, but american express is an old-line company that's high up on the list. >> so they are doing it. >> they are doing it. >> it's easier to start when you're small. >> how many of these companies have child care? that's one of the things that working moms, will talk about that it's remarkable to go to work and put your kid in a child care place on the first floor and go up to the 48th floor, work hard all day and know they're being taken care of. >> a lot of the new ones. sas in kerry, north carolina, i think the biggest employer in
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the state famously has that, and people gravitate toward that. >> would that be incredible? >> it kind of works when you have only one baby and they're not in school. when you're in school and have to run around -- sorry, you just got to be realistic. >> eyebrow shaping. to the challenges here at hock. doctor brzezinski will join us and why he was never on the top 100 list of favorite people to work for. >> oh, yes, he was. >> "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. was starbucks on the list? >> yes. >> very good. -i love this card. -with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card,
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it is clear now that this is a two-man race -- romney and gingrich in it for the long haul. it seems crazy, but at least republicans have got to be happy. >> newt gingrich has embarrassed the party. >> romney is looking soulless. >> newt gingrich is the least conservative of these candidates and the least electable. >> romney very emotional, very detached. >> mitt romney's problem is somehow hi romney-ness, but maybe his mitt-ness. >> i think i can settle this interparty squabble.
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you're all right. they're both terrible. on tomorrow's morning joe, look at this lineup. eric cantor, bob woodward, and tom brokaw. that's all tomorrow on "morning joe." ahead here today, much more on last night's debate. plus mika's dad, dr. be sine can i, when we come back. [ lane ] is your anti-wrinkle cream gone...
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>> your dad? >> have you been studying? >> i have, twice. >> do you have strategic vision now? >> read it, twice. i enjoyed the debate. >> romney won? >> i don't do winners or losers, but. it was kind of a dry. they both looked sleepy to me. >> the lack of audience, such a contrast between south carolina and florida, where the audience was so involved in the two -- last night the audience was if they had muzzles on. >> but gingrich took it down a notch, slightly more statesman-like, and romney did what he had to do, get gingrich back on his heels a bit. >> new polls points to a dramatic shift in the republican race as the two leading
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candidates sharpen their lines of attack according to a new poll, they're in a statistic cal tie. romney dropped eight points white gingrich gained 14. with his lead evaporating the former massachusetts governor got increasingly aggressive, in tampa. romney questioned gingrich's record in washington, leading the former speaker to respond. >> speaker was given an opportunity to be leader of the pare and at the end of four years he had to resign in disgrace. in the 15 years after, the speaker has been working as an influence peddler in washington, and during those 15 years, i helped turn around the olympics, helped begin a very successful turnaround in the state of massachusetts. when i was fight against cap and trade, he was sitting with nancy
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pelosi encouraging. when i was fighting to say the paul ryan plan was bold and right, he was saying it was right-wing social engineering. so we have different perspectives on the kind of leadership our conservative movement needs not to just get elected, but get the country right. >> mr. speaker? >> i'm not going to spend the evening trying to chase governor romney's misinformation. he made a series of allegations. he may have been a good financier, he's a terrible historian. >> all right. it did not stop there. romney also focused his attack on gingrich's work with freddie mac. he tried to head off the critique by releasing the contract with the mortgage lender, but that did not stop the two candidates from tangling over the issue. >> on this stage at a prior
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debate you said you were paid $300,000. as a historian. they don't pay people that for six years as a historian. that adds up for about $1.6 million. and this contract proves that you were not a historian, you were a consultant. it said you were as a consultant and hired by the chief lobbyist of freddie mac. making over a million. >> this is a good example. as a businessman, you know that the gross revenue of bain wasn't your personal income. we had a company, the company had three offices, the company was being paid. my share annually was about $35 a year, and i offered strategic advice, largely based on my knowledge of history. what's the gros revenue of bain that you were associated with it. what's the gross revenue? >> very substantial, but i think it's irrelevant considering -- >> wait a second. did bain do any work with any
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company that did any work with any -- >> i didn't do any work with government, i had never worked in washington. >> and joe, some highlights from the gingrich contract with freddie mac including this, a $25 monthly retainer fee in 2006 for a total of $300,000. the contract describes the work as, quote, consulting and related services. do you know what that's like? >> and the contract with the chief lobbyist of freddie mac. not with the ceo or cfo. >> it's not against the law to pay 15% taxes if it's on capital gains, and it's not against the law to be a lobbyist -- >> just say it. >> or, quote, be an influence peddler. it seems that newt gingrich is fighting a losing battle by
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claiming he wasn't paid millions and millions to, call it influence peddle, call it lobby, to get colleagues to vote the way of the people that were paying them. >> i think one of the key questions, there have been congressmen who said gingrich did lobby them. there's a world in which you can provide strategic advice in washington without going to capitol hill, knocking on doors and trying to get people to vote different ways. did he do that or did he not? if ging witch is correct he did not actually lobby, go to congressmen and ask for particular votes on particular issues, then it's not a losing battle. >> it's obvious he's playing -- >> a game with words. >> it's what the meaning of it is. they had a one-year lobbying ban. so when guys would leave congress, they would come and say i can't lobby. by the way, jane's comesing over
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to talk about one of my clients. >> wink wink. >> you know when that person walks through the door, they are carrying the water for your old friend. >> i think it's hard, because they started so far out on this, it's hard to get back to the right place. he's tried to get there in phases, i think. >> "new york times" has a pretty searing editorial that characterizes what he did. not to pile on with gingrich, but the hypocrisy of his playing with words and being against the super pacs where you have to play with words. there's so many layers of stupid yesterday and lying or vail hypocrisy that's frustrating to watch without cutting through it, saying it is what it is. he lobbied. mitt romney is really rich, and they all use the super pacs. okay. are we do?
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>> are we? >> can we stop pretending? >> what's interesting about the debate last night is i was one of these guys that didn't think m.a.s.h. was a good without a laugh track. i don't think he's as good without his laugh track. he needs the people screaming. >> i thought, you know, romney was -- i thought they were both exhausted, i thought that romney in the past debates has been very good at dropping opposition research into attacks. i thought it felt more like a huge opo dump on newt. in the end, something you've said for a couple days, the problem for romney, he seems to offer a positive vision, that conservative voters will like. not just attacking gingrich, which he has to do, but also give conservatives a reason for vote for him. the result was as much a rejection of romney as well.
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how did he turn it around. >> when you write your book, you look back over all of the notes, i think you and everybody else, me, everybody will realize this entire campaign has been nothing but a judgment on mitt romney. mitt romney's the front-runner, what about sarah palin? okay she's not going to do it. what about herman cain? he's not qualified to be a dogcatcher, but he as not mitt romney, then rick perry, all these other people. we're to newt gingrich right now. i don't want to upset anybody at home. newt's not going to win this thing. i know mark halperin will be disappointed, but i don't think he's going to win. there's a terrible rejection once again of mitt romney. if mitt doesn't give his case instead of just tearing down newt, well, he's going to be weak when he goes up against
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obama. one other bit of news today, in his last state of union before the 2012 sp election, he's expected to address the issue of economic inequality. some of his suggested proposals will include tax breaks for companies that bring jobs back to the country, more refinancing for homeowners in trouble, and tax reform calling for wealthy americans to pay more as the bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 expire. >> one final thought. >> i think the thing we discussed, i totally agree with everything everyone said at the table. his problem is when discussing his personal wealth, he's not done it in a comfortable way, he's been awkward about it and politically ineffective. i don't think there's anything wrong with him making money or republicans revent him, but hi hey to be able to talk about it, the awkwardness and some of it
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that made him seem like he's uncomfortable with his own success. >> and i think two things explain that. and the segment was also self-serving, but for people that know romney that agree, first he's not a self-made man. he was the father -- i mean the son of a very powerful, very wealthy guy. i've always found that self-made men or women came from absolutely nothing, they've got no problem saying, yay, i delivered papers when i was 6, and they will tell you in a second they're proud of it, and they should be proud of it. the second thing is, you can't overstate the fact that he is a mormon. he is taught from day one, kind of like bush 41, about humility. talking about money, talking about charity, talking about all the things he does, people that have known romney for a long time that aren't going to vote for him, say this about him, he
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gets very uncomfortable talking about himself everybody which may be one of the reasons he's not a great presidential candidate. you've got to be able to say look at me, look at me. >> you asked how many republicans voted against medicare part d? >> yeah. >> 25. nch in the house? >> 204-25. >> and none of them, maybe except for paul ryan, none of them would be plausible candidates in 2012. >> up next former national security adviser, dr. brzezinski, whose new book explores the possibility of a world without an american power. first bill karins has a check on the forecast. >> good morning, mika. we're talking about the cleanup in alabama. once again the state has been struck by devastating tornadoes. we had a total of about 12 to 24 tornadoes through four states, but alabama was hit the hardest.
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two fatalities occurred, over 100 injured. one of the big weather stories over the next two days is a good weather story. rain in texas. of course, they've had the horrible drought the last year or two, they're expecting 1 to 2 inches of rain, including oklahoma and areas of arkansas. it's a beautiful, warm january day. enjoy it, temperatures are unusually warm. that continues all the way to florida, a little cool in the northern plains and big rain maker moving into the northwest, but overall, no winter to be seen. all the snow that felt in new york city, it is long gone. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ♪ i believe in dreams again ♪ oh, yeah ♪ 'cause i believe in you and me ♪
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nations like china and india realized there was some changes of their own they could compete in this new world. so they started ed kaying their children earlier and longer with greater emphasize on mast and science. they're investing in research and new technologies, so yes, the world has changed. the competition is real, but remember, for all the hinges we have taken this year, america still has the largest most prosperous economy in the world.
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>> that was president obama in last year's state of union address talking about the competition from asia. joining us dr. brzezinski, the author of the new book strategic vision, america and the crisis of global power. also joining us from washington columnist no "the washington post," david ignatius. david good to have you back. dad, good to have you. >> how does he do it without your assistance? >> this is by my quount his 16th book, which has got to be a record. >> and his best, of course, david, right? >> it's an excellent book. it is very clear and to the point. we'll talk about it this morning, but i think readers will find it a very good read. >> dad, let me read from page 2. >> good lord. >> this is what tiffs like growing up -- indeed the ongoing changes in the distribution of global power and mounting global
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strife make it all the more imperative that america not retreat into an ignorant garrison state mentality or wallow inself righteous cultural hedonism. >> there you go. >> wow, that's kind of a heavy warning. >> well, when i was writing that, i wasn't really thinking of the current crop of candidates for republican candidates for president, but there's a slight relationship. there's kind of a sense of escapism, of reality and great deal of democrat gogry in the public attitude toward the world you write in one part, knows of are historically envelopedible,
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intellectually fashionable, but you still move forward and make the argument if it does almost, this is the world we'll see. it's looming on the horizon. also an absolute decline. >> this has happened before, 1998, 1999, suddenly we turn our attention to japan and horrified that japan is going to rise and we're going to be america's grainry. as you say in the book, this is what we said after sputnik went up, the soviets are going to outpace us. vietnam, o. my god. this goes fashionable, we do it every ten years, but this time there's more long-term trends. >> and more serious this time of
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way. there are a number of indicators that we are no longer the leaders and lots of indicators we may be surpassed in more phases particularly by the chinese, so in that sense it's more serious, but avoidable. if american were to decline, and that is what you asked me about, i believe in the foreseeable future, the world will not be, so to speak chinese, the world will be chaotic. that is also a factor that we have to take into account, a lot of things we value will cease to have the kind of positive influence in the world that it has had in them recent history. >> david? >> two things instrument me about the book, and things we all feel watching the news. on one level it's quite bleak, very pessimistic sense of the moment, but it's also optimistic
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as you think of longer term. i want to ask you briefly about each of those. the scariest passage, a when you say the united states today reminds you of the soviet union in the last three we're of its decline before it collapsed, the politics is gridlocked, we're spending too much for unproductive foreign ventures, we have a sense of class fliskt, inequality at home. talk about that. do we really look like the dying soviet union these days? >> to some extent we do, and i think the examples that you cited in a way bear that out. this is why i think we do have to give some very serious thought so what is needed, a new burst of energy for the united states and in terms of our global position. in effect there is a paradox
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here. in 1990, the soviet union collapsed. we stood tall. we were the only super power in the world. 20 years later our internal system is under some strain, to put it mildly, and our influence globally is declining. so in that sense, this is a serious challenge. i remain confident that if we do the things we need to do, america will continue to play a preeminent role in the world for decades to come, but we might not do them, and the world may not become congenial and we may lack the strategic vision we need to generate a new set of conditions in the world that are favorable to stability, to democratization, to global cooperation, to dealing with new global issues. if we don't do these things, the world is going to be in turmoil. and we then, in that context, domestically are more
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vulnerable, will not be in a very enjoyable situation. >> doctor brzezinski, which of these things you're talking about is the most urgent and the one most likely to be tackled despite the government system we have. what do we need to do right now? >> i think on the domestic front, one issue is dear to my heart, in terms of socioeconomic conditions, it may not be the mo most important. that is push education about the world. the fact is we are a democracy. we can only cub a public policy that the public can support. the public in america is woefully ignorant about the world. our educational system has failed to correct that, and i have to say in recent years or presidents have not done what is needed. president clinton was a happy go lucky person who in a sense said
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we're triumphant, it's the american century, let's more or less enjoy it. president bush, w. bush, said god has endowed the united states with a mission to be the leader, and history has commissioned america to be the leaders. there was this grandiose notion about ourselves. i think we need a real effort at public education about the world. then obviously we need to address some of the fundamentals of our economic difficulties. if we do these things, we will be in a position to be more influential worldwide, provided we have a intelligent foreign policy, and that is the third thing we need. one that looks beyond the immediate crisis, not just iran tomorrow and maybe a new war, but how do we shape a world in which we can no longer be paramount, where there's china,
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europe that needs revitalization, how do we apply ourselves to that task. >> when we had a bipolar world, that was the flash point we worried about. we now have as you're describing a multipolar world and we talk about it in economics a lot. where are the places where you see potential for military flashpoints going forward if the trends oar talking about continue? >> the one i mentioned is the most obvious. iran could happen between now and election day, and perhaps in the last three weeks of elections, because at that moment if something happens, public opinion will probably support military action initially. it won't be usual december or january that the negative consequences will be able to set in for everybody. we and the rest of the world also because of the economic implications, but in terms of flash points, beyond that
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immediate one, if american declines, it's going to be essentially on sort of the borderlines between the major powers. it will be on the one hand georgia in the caucasus, north korea, pakistan, afghanistan, and one can have a list of these. but the more important point is there will be a general degradation of confidence, stability and maybe some of our existing alliances will become frayed. this is why an energized intelligent america, and i emphasize intelligent, is so much needed. >> david? >> i was struck by listening to dr. brzezinski. the same words could be taken from a campaign speech by newt gingrich or mitt romney. their critique of this president is that he is allowi inin ininge
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in american power and fraying of system order, so i want to ask you directly, in this political year, do you think that what's in your book is -- could be best used and implemented by obama or by these republican critics? >> i have no doubt that it is obama, because obama -- and i have said this publicly before -- impressed me from the very beginning by the fact that he seems to understand what's new about the 21st century, and what's new about the much more complex difficult role that america has to play in that century. i don't feel that his critics don't understand these issues. they just operate with slogans and democrat gogry, and with a great deal of extremism in their views and willingness to go to more wars. look at the totally casual way
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in which the leading republican presidential candidates announce they would go to war with iran, even though it is the congress that's supposed to go to war. the presidents are supposed to lead the reaction if we are attacked. obama understands that. i think the problem is he has had difficulties, in part because of the domestic problems, in part because he got stonewalled to move forward with this foreign policy. i certainly have no hesitation in saying i have mover confidence in his judgment about the world than anything i have heard so far from any of the officially announced republican presidential candidates. >> well i just was going to say on iran, which is the issue that's got us all on fire, there's something interesting in dr. brzezinski's book, you think we can contain a nuclear iran, but then and you have passage when you say, maybe what might be needed, if this knock
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lard-armed iran is collective disarmament, a group of nations collectively acting to take away those nuclear weapons. i found that an interesting idea. >> well, what i mean by that is exactly what you said, but the motive for it is that i don't want the understand either stampeded into a war with iran that's, say, by an israeli attack which the iranians react, probably more against us than against them, or a decision reminiscent of the decision to go into the pointless war with iraq in 2003. i would like to see, if push comes to shove, if there's nothing left for the international community but compulsion, that then other major powers join with us -- that's easy for me to say. i think the chances are low that they'll do so, because in fact some of them think that if we
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get involved in a war with iran, we'll suffer a further decline and therefore, by the same token, they will rise in global standing. >> but you're talking about a libyan -- >> but particularly i think of russia and china. they have to be engaged in some fashion. maybe not directly in some scale. >> being tacit approval? >> at least, like you said, something like the libyan model. i don't think it's in our interest to be policeman of the world and i don't think we should allow ourselves to be appointed as policeman of the world. >> it's a tough look, but i find it to be for the most part an optimistic book. and david's correct. when you start comparing the united states to where the soviet union was the last three years, the lawyer in me saw that
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phrase "even if overdrawn" almost like the columbia professor saying let me put a pieport sis out there, and you lead us down the path and then pull back and say, okay, maybe i'm overdrawing this a bit, but we have to look closer. what we all do as americas, and i think that's positive. we look and tell ourselves tough questions, sometimes we don't ask as tough questions, for instance, china, who is on the bubble right now? that bubble could burst. i'm not saying that's good, but it could burt. right now it's facing even greater challenges that we face. it seems to me if the united states makes some adjustments, i would say even modest adjustmenting by historical standards, compared to italy or greece, we could be in a much stronger position going forward than even or rivals.
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>> if we make, quote/unquote, these adjustments, of course we would be in a better position. i think these adjustments unfortunately will be a little difficult to make because of the division in the country, because of the gridlock and so forth. yes, i am basically an optimist in the sense i think a better future is possible, but it has to be striven for constantly, not simply announced as a mission, or it's inherent in our exceptionalism. we have to strive for it, which means domestic change, a lot off issues of social justice as well, education, and then a forward vision which enables us to work with the europeans to revitalize the west, engage the russians and turks in the west which would give the west much more important substance politically and have a prudence foreign policy towards asia,
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which engages with china, but which doesn't demonize china and makes it look as if its our enemy which of course they'll reciprocate and try to promote conciliation, and never again get involved in a ground war on the mainland of asia. >> we want to talk more about this, but first, i don't floe if you know this or not, but we have all of our guests that write 16th books, or their 16th book left, we left them depart with a president, and we wanted to have the chess master take this home with him. >> my dad has the tiny version of this in your office -- >> but you have to tell the audience about the -- >> dad, you want to narrate for us? >> it's me and prime minister
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begin. we played chess twit, the outcome was very good, because we split. >> did you throw one of those matches? >> no, no, he did win one, but i remember an aneck dote. we were about to start that match, which all of a sudden he seizes my hand in midair as i'm about to make a move and says, dr. brzezinski, do you know when i last played chess? the thought flashed from my last, what do i care when you last played chess? i was sort of silent, so he answers, which is a bit fictional now, but certainly he gives me a date, august 19, 1941, 37 years earlier, when i was hiding from the soviets, and they burst into the room to arrest me. i thought, my god, he hasn't played chess for 37 years? i have to win. or further be embarrassing,
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whereupon mrs. begin appears on the scene and she says, you're playing chess, that's wonderful. he just loves to play. he plays all the time. [ laughter ] >> then i realized it was psychological warfare. >> dad, thank you. book is "strategic vision, america and the crisis of global power. "thank you very much. get an excerpt at our blog. david ignatius, thank you as well. >> thank you, david. we'll be back with tom brok brokaw. tonight, join us, wee join dad for a conversation and book signing tess barnes and noble in union scare here. we have a lunch today. tomorrow on "morning joe" he will join us on set to continue the book discussion. tom brokaw and bob woodward with join that conversation.
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thanks very much. we'll be right back.
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live look from the top of the rock. time now to get a check on business before the bell with cnbc's brian sullivan live at
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cnbc headquarters. brian? >> i can't compete with the dad, but i'll do my best, and i'm terrible at chess. we wake up. we have a greece debt deal still not done, japan saying they won't meet that budget goals. so you have concerns about asia and greece, but because it is the morning, i'll give the good news. stock futures flat to maybe slightly down. the point is despite all the problems in the world, the united states continues to hold up pretty well. we are still off to our best start in the u.s. stock market in january. the best in 15 years, guys, not too shabby. >> brian, thank you very much. we'll see you soon. coming up, how to handle iran was a topic in last night's debate. we'll bring in the finance minister for israel and his thought, next on "morning joe. "
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so we have to have an aircraft carrier in the gulf, and of course a task force with it, and one in the mid trainian. we want to show iran any action of that nature will be considered an act of war, an act of terror and america will keep the sea lanes open. >> the american people have no interest in going to war anywhere. we had no interest in going to war with japanese when they bombed pearl harbor, we had no interested in going to afghanistan when jihadists destroyed world trade center. historically we like peace, but we have historic commitment to freedom of the sea. welcome back to "morning joe." we have with us the israeli minister of financial. very good to have you with us. >> good morning. >> we want to talk about finance, but let's talk about
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iran first. obviously in america that's what so president of our presidential candidates are obsessed with. dr. brzezinski here, a great picture. does iran overshadow just about everything that goes on in israel right now as far as foreign policy goes? >> this is a little bit too much, about you of course the gravity of the iranian threat, and not just to israel and the middle east, about you to europe and -- >> would you call it an existential threat when ahmadinejad says he wants to destroy israel orb do you dismiss him as a clown? >> no. many people in the world dismissed hitler as a clown. we know this is serious. and the gravity of the iran nuclear threat is of enormous magnitude. it's also to the western world all together, to the free
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western world. i would put it like this -- since italy and since russia during the cold war, this is the most potential threat to the peace of the world together. >> since 1948 for israel, the greatest threat since that time? >> i cannot say this is the greatest threat -- >> come on, make a sweeping statement. come on. >> it's a real threat, and i want to emphasize it's not just a threat to israel. if a threat to the entire middle east, it's a threat to europe, as you probably know, the iranian missiles can now reach most of europe, and now they're waiting on enter continental ballistic missiles. so it's not just israel that is under the threat here. >> prime minister netanyahu just yesterday praised the new tougher sanctions imposed on iran. do you think they go far enough? >> first, i put it like this. it's very important that
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finally, finally the europeans like the americans are putting almost an economic blockade on the iranians, yet it's very significant, but the gravity of the threat might make it insufficient yet. if the world wants to prevent this -- the realization of the threat, they should come under a complete economic blockade in order to force them not to proceed. of course all the options should remain on the table. i'm very happy both america and israel are making it very clear that all the options are on the table if necessary. what more specifically would you like to see done? >> those are very significant, but still partial. >> what more can be done? >> a complete economic blockade. also a sea blockade on the iranians. you know, it should be
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prevented. the world will be different and much more dangerous world if those iranian get nuclear weapons with long-range missiles. already berlin and -- and they were working currently, on i mentioned before, intercontinental ballistic missiles. >> so let's move from military threats to economic threat. how much a threat is the european crisis economically on israel? >> like the rest of the world, we are concerned. you know, 50% of israeli gdp, or export is like 50% of the gdp, and much of it is going to europe. if europe is declining, the impact on israel might be immediate. >> and yet you had a record sale of israeli bonds over the
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weekend. what is it that foreign investors see in israel that they like? >> well, first, in the last two years, the israeli economy is really growing, the fastest-growing economy in the western world. and it's mainly not due to a shopping -- the volume of economic activity, but due to new investments in the real economy in the country. the level of investing current will i in israel is 75 march beyond the b.r.i.i.c. crisis in investments. which is extremely significant. part of it, we are the first nation to implement a two-year budget in the middle of the crisis. this was extremely helpful to stabilize the system during the
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crisis, and part of it because we gave many incentives for investors to invest in the israeli economy in the economile of the crisis. we are putting a lot of emphasis on improving all the infrastructure, including dramatically improving the higher education in israel, in order to continue to produce very strong human capital, which is the secret of the success of the israeli economy. when stan signor wrote about in "start upnation." he's a great guy to make bets with. he always loses. anyway, "start-up nation" and it sounds like the rest of the world is agreeing with stan. thank you for being on the show this morning. >> my pleasure. more "morning joe" in just a minute. brad, wher e we going? just a second. just, just one second.
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welcome back. we'll be down at union scare tonight. >> and a lunch today with my dad. what did you learn today? >> talking about the honor roll for the people who voted, ron paul -- >> of course ron paul. but that goes without saying. >> so ron paul,


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